UKCCSC News 11 Oct 2007

Hi Folks,

It’s not long since the last News instalment, but there’s enough to report, I think.

1) The Government finally admitted that it intends to partly fund the construction of only a single CCS-fitted powerstation. It is also now clear that only a post-combustion capture, coal-fired scheme will be considered, which is perhaps sensible bearing in mind the export possibilities to India and China. For the UK market that might limit things somewhat, eliminating IGCC at a stroke?

From the Government press release: “The design spec for the UK’s first Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) plant was significantly refined today as John Hutton announced that the Government will support a single post-combustion coal-fired project.”

 http://www.gnn.gov.uk/environment/fullDetail.asp?ReleaseID=321108&NewsAreaID=2&NavigatedFromDepartment=False

The private sector might get there itself first though?:

2) Npower plans to capture carbon (Financial Times)

“October 10 RWE Npower said on Tuesday it would build the first carbon-capturing plant at a coal-fired power station in the UK. The company will build the plant at Aberthaw power station in Wales, and plans to begin operations in 2010. Npower said on Tuesday it would build a small 1MW megawatt plant initially, for about £8.4m, with further investment planned for a capture and storage demonstrator plant of at least 25MW.”

As a geologist, the first question that occurs to me is: where will they put the CO2? You can search the press in vain for an answer to that one, as they will probably vent to atmosphere initially?

 http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/897f0724-76bd-11dc-ad83-0000779fd2ac.html?nclick_check=1

 http://www.rwe.com/generator.aspx/presse/language=en/id=76864?pmid=4001863

3) It may not have been that obvious from the news coverage, but the new-build power station in Kent that was the subject of the Greenpeace protest in early October is likely to be part of the UK competition for a CCS powerstation. According to a spokesperson for E.ON, who own the plant:

“It [the proposed new plant] is set up for carbon capture, and there are also plans to heat up to 100,000 homes in the area.”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2007/oct/08/climatechange.energy

And finally, on the other side of the Globe:

4) Australia approves $17.8 billion Gorgon gas project

“The Australian government gave a green light Wednesday to the 20-billion-dollar (17.8-billion-US) Gorgon gas development after imposing strict conditions designed to protect endangered species. …the federal government would spend another 60 million on a carbon storage and capture system to minimise emissions.”

http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5gX5nH09V80tI47fagCY24lBluCuQ

Things are moving quickly here. Really hotting up, you might say?